Design and development of letrozole nanoemulsion: A comparative evaluation of brain targeted nanoemulsion with free letrozole against status epilepticus and neurodegeneration in mice

Ramsha Iqbal, Shakeeb Ahmed, Gaurav K. Jain, Divya Vohora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The target of the current study is to formulate letrozole loaded nanoemulsion (LET-NE) for the direct nose to brain delivery to reduce peripheral effects of letrozole (LET). LET-NE is compared against intraperitoneally administered free LET in kainic acid (KA) induced status epilepticus (SE) in mice. LET loaded nanoemulsion (LET-NE) was prepared by aqueous microtitration method using Triacetin, Tween 80 and PEG-400 as the oil phase, surfactant, and co-surfactant. Nanoemulsion was studied for droplet size, polydispersity index (PDI), zeta potential, percentage transmittance, drug content, surface morphology. TEM images of developed formulation demonstrated spherical droplets with a mean diameter of 95.59 ± 2.34 nm, PDI of 0.162 ± 0.012 and zeta potential of −7.12 ± 0.12 mV respectively. In in-vitro and ex-vivo drug release, LET-NE showed prolonged drug release profile as compared to suspension. SE was induced by KA (10 mg/kg, i.p.) in Swiss albino mice. Behavioral seizure monitoring, biochemical estimations, and histopathological examination were performed. The onset time of SE was significantly enhanced and % incidence of SE was reduced by intranasal administration of LET-NE as compared to KA and LET administered intraperitoneally. Biochemical estimations revealed that LET-NE effectively decreased levels of 17-β estradiol while the levels of 5α-Dihydrotestosterone (5α-DHT) and 3α-androstanediol (3α-Diol) were significantly increased in the hippocampus. In cresyl violet staining LET-NE showed better protection of the hippocampus from neurotoxicity induced by KA as compared to LET. Also, in gamma scintigraphy of mouse brain, intranasal administration of nanoemulsion exhibited the presence of high concentration of LET. The study demonstrates the anticonvulsant and neuroprotective effect of LET-NE probably by inhibition of aromatization of testosterone into 17-β estradiol, proconvulsant, and diverting the pathway into the synthesis of testosterone metabolites, 3α-Diol with known anticonvulsant and neuroprotective action. Brain targeting of LET-NE showed better anticonvulsant and neuroprotective action than LET.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-32
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

Cite this